- Maine Coons and Siberian cats are both long-haired cat breeds with wonderful personalities and fantastic origin stories. But, similarities end there.
- Maine Coons are named for their home state of Maine in the New England region of the United States. Siberian Cats call cold Siberia, in Russia, home.
- Siberians can be lap-cats, with boundless energy. Maine Coons have more laidback dispositions.
- Maine Coon cats have square faces, stockier builds, and larger bodies. Siberians are slenderer, with round facial features, and longer, agile back legs.
- The long coat of both involve regular grooming and care, but a Maine Coon’s requires less so.
- Siberian Cats are more cat allergy-friendly vs. Maine Coons.
When it comes to comparing the Maine Coon with the Siberian Cat, there are a lot of similarities. Both of these cat breeds are large and have distinctive personalities. However, there are notable areas of divergence.
I created this guide to share my personal insights into the similarities and differences of Maine Coons vs Siberians. I love my Maine Coon, and enjoy sharing my knowledge about the breed with others.
And thankfully I have a good friend with a Siberian Cat. We spend a lot of time discussing our furry friends.
Maine Coons are an old breed with a mysterious past. Similarly, Siberian Cats are an old breed with their origins dating back thousands of years.
Below you will learn more about the history, physical characteristics, and personalities of these exciting large cat breeds.
Their History and Origin Stories
Both of these large cat breeds have old origins. Because their origins are not recent, it is difficult to tell a single story for either breed. Multiple legends exist for both breeds as to how they came to exist in our modern times.
The most likely origin of Maine Coons dates back to colonial times in America. Cats brought over by European ships probably crossbred with cats living in the New England colonies.
Other, less believable legends, are fun to consider. Some people like to joke that they are called Maine Coons, because they were a product of a raccoon and a short-haired cat.
Others are convinced that they are descended from cats belonging to Marie Antoinette. Although she was unable to flee France, her Turkish Angora cats did and crossbred with American cats.
Another name for the Siberian Cat is the Siberian Forest Cat, not to be confused with the Norwegian Forest Cat. Their origins are most likely even older than Maine Coon cats, but no less fantastic.
It is difficult to know where they came from exactly. Most likely they developed naturally due to their close relationship with humans or were deliberately crossbred with Eastern Asian breeds.
However, some people think there is the potential in a more legendary origin. There is a Caucasian Wild Cat that makes its home close to Siberia. Some people believe that Siberian Cats are related to those wild cats in some way.
Height and Weight
On average, Maine Coon cats are the heaviest and largest domestic cat breeds. Compared to a normal cat, Maine Coons are giants! They typically outweigh the Siberian Cat by a few pounds, especially males.
When they are fully grown, they range between 15 to 25 pounds. They can also be very tall. On average, these cats are 10 to 16 inches in height.
Siberian Cats are smaller by weight and by height. Fully grown, they might weigh between 8 and 25 pounds. They can grow as tall as 9 to 11 inches in height. However, this is not a hard and rule, some Siberian cats can be larger than small Maine Coons in the real world.
Comparing Males and Females
Both Siberian Cats and Maine Coon cats display sexual dimorphism. This term means that males and females show different characteristics.
In the case of both breeds, the males are larger than the females. Maine Coon males, however, can be one and a half times larger. Comparatively, male Siberian Cats are only one times larger than a female.
Distinguishing Facial Features
When looking at the face of a Maine Coon, you will notice an angular quality to the features. They have short muzzles that are shaped like squares. Siberian Cats display rounder facial features.
Their heads are softer and more rounded, with a short and round muzzle. Their round faces are similar in some ways to the Ragdoll cat breed.
Both Siberian Cats and Maine Coons share pointed ears, but Siberians have more rounded shapes. The ears on a Maine Coon sit higher on the head.
Siberians do not have the same pronounced ears, which can seem silly on a small Maine Coon kitten. I remember watching my Chelle grow into her ears as she got older.
The eyes of Siberian Cats mimic its round facial features. Their big eyes are typically set straight in the head with a round appearance. Maine Coons have a fiercer look with oval-shaped eyes set diagonally in the face.
Maine Coons and Siberians share similar eye colors. Green and gold eyes are most common for both large cat breeds no matter what color their coat.
Blue eyes and two different eye colors are possible for both breeds, too. A Maine Coon, however, must have white in its coat to exhibit blue or odd eye colors.
Comparing the body type of Maine Coons with Siberian Cats, you will notice that Maine Coon cats are stockier. They have shorter legs and appear heavier and more solid.
Siberian Cats, by contrast, have a slender appearance. The longer back legs of Siberians increase their natural agility and give them an arch to their back.
Both breeds are considered large breeds in the cat world. They are strong animals with muscular frames. While Siberian Cats are known as the better jumper of the two, Maine Coons can hold their own when they play and run.
Fur and Coat
Maine Coons and Siberians are two large, long-haired breeds with noticeably thick coats. Both breeds developed in forested, cold terrains and are never short hair as purebreds.
Siberian Cats are known for their ability to stay warm during extremely cold weather. They have three coats that help hold warmth, including an undercoat that becomes thicker during colder months.
Maine Coon cats are not as resistant to cold temperatures, but are adjusted to cold weather. Instead of a thick, double-layered coat, Maine Coons have a multi-tiered coat.
Extra fur is situated in the middle of their bodies where warmth is needed most. And their tails are incredibly bushy. They will wrap themselves up in their own tails to keep warm.
How Big are Maine Coons vs Siberians?
Maine Coons have a heavier body type and are usually longer than Siberian Cats. Siberian Cats are usually as long as 2 feet, compared to Maine Coons which can be 3-4 feet in length.
Both of these large breeds do not reach their full size as quickly as other breeds. Their time as kittens is extended, which means they grow slower. Both a Maine Coon cat and a Siberian Cat may not grow to its full size until it is four years old.
Are Siberian Cats or Maine Coons Hypoallergenic?
Maine Coons and Siberian Cats both have long, thick fur coats. Maine Coons, however are not a good breed if you or someone in your household experiences cat allergies.
Siberians are a different story. Although there is not cat breed that is totally hypoallergenic, the Siberian Cat comes close. When studied, the fur of a Siberian produces fewer “Fel d 1” allergens.
These fewer allergens mean that a Siberian Cat will not cause as many problems for someone’s allergies.
When it comes to lifespan, Siberian vs Maine Coon cats are fairly similar.
Siberian Cats, on average, can live several years longer than a Maine Coon. Maine Coons live between 12 and 15 years on average. Siberian Cats live between 14 and 25 years.
Some people attribute the longer lifespans of Siberians to better overall health. Maine Coons have more known issues that you can work to prevent.
However, both breeds are susceptible to the health concerns common to all cats, like kidney disease and heart disease.
Siberian vs Maine Coon Personality and Disposition
Similarities abound when describing the personalities of Maine Coons and Siberians. These large and in-charge breeds enjoy spending time with people and other pets. They typically display a good mood no matter what.
Intelligence is a given for both cat breeds. If you are hoping for a cat that responds well to training, a Siberian or Maine Coon cat is eager to learn.
Independent of training, both types of cats are capable of teaching themselves to complete complicated tasks. My Maine Coon knows how to turn a handle on a door, which makes it very important to lock doors!
Maine Coons and Siberian Cats depend upon the attention of their owners. They will naturally develop a close relationship with the people they see every day.
Be prepared to have a furry companion who will follow you around all day long. Both breeds are as loyal as dogs when it comes to your time.
If you are familiar with cats, you recognize that this is not always the case. However, do not expect Maine Coons to enjoy lounging in your lap. Only Siberians will permit themselves to be petted and cossetted.
The easygoing, affectionate nature of both Siberian Cats and Maine Coons makes them well-suited to almost any lifestyle. You can bring them into your home without worrying about too long of an adjustment period.
Of course, Siberians are the type of cat that is always on. They have boundless energy and curiosity, which can get them into trouble.
A Maine Coon cat will also display an adventurous spirit and playful energy. But they also spend a lot of time quietly. They are content to sit and watch you go about your daily activities.
Will a Maine Coon or a Siberian Do Better With Other Humans and Pets?
If you are looking for a cat that will do well with other pets or guests coming over to your home, then a Maine Coon is an ideal option.
Maine Coons are outgoing and friendly, which endears them to other pets, especially dogs. A Maine Coon, while a larger cat breed, is not prone to aggression or biting. You can comfortably keep a Maine Coon around a small child or even a baby.
Siberian Cats are just as friendly and personable as Maine Coons. However, Maine Coons are generally described as being gentle and laidback.
In comparison, Siberian Cats are incredibly playful and adventurous most of the time. Their playful natures make it easy for them to get along with dogs and children.
Health of Siberian Cats vs Maine Coon Cats
Owning a pet means understanding how to take care of all their needs, including their health care. Not every cat is going to exhibit the types of health conditions common to their breed.
However, it is my experience that prevention is always best. I make sure to provide my Maine Coon, Chelle, with a quality diet and exercise to prevent future health issues.
Health Concerns for Maine Coons
As a breed, Maine Coons are prone to several common cat ailments. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart condition seen often in cats, is often the result of a genetic issue.
Checking for a prominent, popular breeder will mitigate the chances of purchasing a cat with this disease. Maine Coons also commonly exhibit hip dysplasia as they get older.
Hip dysplasia occurs when a malformed joint in the hip becomes inflamed. Joint supplements can help keep your cat strong as it ages.
Health Concerns for Siberians
Siberian Cats are generally longer lived than Maine Coons. A Maine Coon in perfect health may not live longer than 15 years. However, a healthy Siberian can live five or ten years longer.
This large cat breed does not experience as many health issues. Of course, you should still keep an eye out for common feline problems, such as polycystic kidney disease, Erythrocyte pyruvate kinase deficiency, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
The Hidden Costs
As a pet parent, I am intimately familiar with the costs associated with caring for a Maine Coon. From basic essentials like food, water, toys, litter, and treats, to yearly vet bills and vaccinations, prepare yourself for all the potential expenses.
One area that requires a splurge is diet. Maine Coons and Siberians need plenty of protein. Look into a high quality, clean protein-rich wet food and dry food. Or try a raw food diet!
Caring for the thick fur coats of a Maine Coon or Siberian Cat will take up plenty of your time. You want to ensure they are comfortable and healthy, which means occasionally helping them with grooming.
Thankfully, both of these long-haired breeds require brushing only a few times each week. Regular brushing is enjoyable for these cats, plus it prevents matting and knotting.
Brushing also takes care of loose fur that they might lick up and digest. Hairballs are a particular issue with Siberian Cats and their thick undercoats.
Siberian Cats require more brushing and careful grooming. They have thicker coats, which can lead to issues with matting or clumping. Both of these breeds enjoy water, which makes bath time easier for everyone involved.
Shedding is another concern for these long-haired cats. Both Maine Coons and Siberian Cats will shed part of their coats during warmer months. Brushing can be even more important during those times!
Which breed is right for you?
Choosing between a Siberian Cat vs a Maine Coon should be a decision for your whole family.
Consider the important aspects in both breeds and how they might fit into your current lifestyle. You will be happiest with a cat who is able to easily integrate into your home and heart.
For more information about Maine Coon cats, Siberian Cats, and more, check out my guides. I love sharing my love and expertise for Maine Coons with the world, especially potential owners.
I’m Gary Hu, a proud cat dad to a 15 lb Maine Coon. Have taken care of outdoor and indoor cats for over 10 years, and learned tons on behavior, habits, health, and products. I help new Maine Coon (or any other cat) parents with common questions and issues based on real, practical experience.